Cairngorm Capital Partners acquires another builders merchant

19 July 2019

Investment firm Cairngorm Capital Partners has made another acquisition in the builders merchant sector – Fairalls (Builders’ Merchants) Ltd – creating the largest independent merchanting group in the South East with combine revenues of £120m.

The turnover figure includes earlier acquisitions Parker Building Supplies and Stamco, taking in 24 total branches serving Surrey, Sussex and Kent. More than 500 employees work across the three merchant companies.

Fairalls, which dates its origins back to 1900, offers a mix of heavy and lightside building materials from four locations in Surrey and Kent – Gatwick, Sevenoaks and two branches in Godstone. Its Taylors Hill Branch in Godstone is one of the largest heavyside yards in the South East.

In 2018 the business, currently managed by Robert Fairall and his son Richard, achieved revenues of approximately £15m with 85 employees. Bob will remain with the business on an interim basis before entering retirement, while Richard will also remain with the business which will continue to trade under the Fairalls brand.

Cairngorm Capital said there was minimal branch overlap between the three merchant companies and a highly complementary product range.

The latest partnership, it added, offered the strategic opportunity for geographic expansion and advances Cairngorm Capital’s strategy to expand its business through a combination of acquisitions, new site development and organic growth.

“We have much in common with Parkers and Stamco in terms of heritage, outstanding product quality and a commitment to the highest standards of customer service, which makes this a very good fit,” said Robert Fairall.

“Like Parkers and Stamco, Fairalls is an excellent company with a strong brand in the independent builders’ merchants market and an outstanding reputation with its customers,” said Alex Bayliss, MD at Cairngorm Capital.